Category Archives: Recipes

Greetings from the Burbs!

Today, it is raining again here in West Houston and we are still watching those damn dams.  What does a suburban House Husband do without a Suburban?  We cook, chat and clean closets!  LOL  That gay agenda is really something.

I do have a special girl in my life, her name is Miss Lady.

A Broth for a Lady

Miss Lady is our Great Pyrenees that we inherited upon the passing of a friend.  She, like our other family members, are all rescues and we love them dearly.  She is getting up in years and has something that is endemic to this breed of dog, hip dysplasia.  I did my research and avoided costly vet bills by changing her diet.  By the way, she is about 16 plus years old and still trucking along like a teenager.

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Her diet now consists of broths that I have adapted from the Far East that provide the joint lubrication to interact with the chondroitin (Available through Amazon) supplements we give her.  To make this broth, I go to the meat markets for bones, knuckle bones, chicken thighs, beef hooves and such that would make the broth for various noodle soup dishes in Japan and China. Yes Dears!  Those excellent broths have very humble beginnings!

Nabeyaki Udon Nippon

Here is my recipe

3 to 5 pounds of bones with meat

1 gallon of water to begin

Celery tops, Carrot tops with carrots (any type of extra from regular cooking)

Set to boil then simmer on the stove, adding water as needed for about 24 hours.

What I end up with I split between her bowl and freeze the rest in Ice Trays as it is a great addition to any dish that requires bullion in it.

We love our kids and hope to keep them healthy and happy!

What else does a Houston House Husband do on a rainy day?  We write blogs!
Have a good day!

Jere!

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Edamame Hummus

I took the plunge today and experimented with Edamame as a base for some spectacular hummus!  It turned out fantastic with a few tweaks from me.

I got the idea from a blog on wordpress to expand my horizons in the kitchen yet again and it has paid off.  I made mine a bit on the spicy side and added fresh tomatoes to it to create a different texture.

I do not have the flat bread to serve it with but living in Texas, I do have the taco chips.  Go figure.

This is my recipe and there is another great recipe from Alton Brown here.

To make this fantastic starter, I took one pound of Edamame, already shelled, and put them in the food processor.  I did not see the need to cook them as I like the full probiotic value these miraculous beans have to offer.  I processed them down to mush with additional EVOO and some Chili infused EVOO along with some chili powder that I made from Santa Fe chili’s.  Add the fresh squeezed lemon juice, three cloves of garlic, honey along with salt and pepper and there you have it!

Don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen!

Recipe

1 pound shelled Edamame

1/3 cup EVOO

1/3 cup Chili Infused EVOO

3 large cloves of garlic, smashed and added to the food processor

3 tablespoons of sugar or honey

2 lemons, juiced with a scant teaspoon of lemon zest for extra punch

Salt and Pepper to taste

Put it all in the food processor on high and let it spin!  You may have to add a little more EVOO to get it to the right consistency but it is worth the effort!

Carpe Diem!

Scenes from a Kitchen…Mine!

I thought it would be great to begin sharing how I set my kitchen up and have on hand the things I need.
To begin, these are pictures of creations from my kitchen that I serve at home and professionally as a Chef, Caterer and Party planner.
I wear many hats and take pride in what I do. The adverse diversity in my life leads to some creative ideas and this represents the ideas becoming reality!

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My travels around the world have opened me to some great experiences. This is a starting point today.

Carpe Diem!

Kitchen Basics: How To Make Roux

A good roux is the foundation of many sauces and gravies.  Making it can be as simple as adding flour to the oil or meat breakfast drippings such as bacon or sausage, to an art form.

For me, I go the artsy fartsy route with fresh butter and charred flour.

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My Grandmothers WWII aluminum pot

For any good Creole or Cajun dish like this one has to make a good roux. The standard is one to one on the oil and the flour. I use everything from bacon grease, corn oil to butter and even use some of the fat from the roast in this one to give it an extra punch. To make the roux, I use a black cast iron skillet on medium to medium low heat. Heat the oil and for this one I used ¾ cup of oil to ¾ cup flour. The oil was a mix of bacon grease, beef fat and corn oil. Stir the mix frequently or use a whisk for about 30 minutes and don’t try to speed it up. It should be a medium to dark brown for that extra flavor.

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With a foundation such as this, the roux will be quite unique to you!  It takes time and patience to make a good roux.  Keep at it, constantly stirring and whisking for about 30 to 40 minutes.  When it turns the exact color you like, it’s ready!

Peach Cobbler

What is the South without a cobbler on the table? Cobbler are a mainstay below the Mason Dixon and when the fresh fruits are in season it’s nary a day that goes by without something like this coming out of my kitchen.
Living in the city though, it’s a challenge to find good fruit at times. So, I do a lot of canning in the summer and fall so I can have these scrumptious things throughout the year.
First off, take the peaches, if they are fresh, and get the fuzzy skin off. I cut them in chunks and put them together in a bowl covered with the sugar to let them develop a natural juice. Don’t get too upset as I also do fermentation and have things sitting around, like Kimchee and Pickled Vegetables that take a while and this only leaves the peaches out for an hour or so.
While that’s happening, continue on with the rest of the meal as this needs to be served hot out of the oven.
8 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Come back to the bowl and add in your lemon juice and cornstarch and let it set for about ten minutes

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Heat your oven up to 425 and get the peaches in their juice in a nice large cast iron skillet or a baking dish. I have my Great Grandmothers well-seasoned skillet for days like this. Put them in the oven and let them get to temperature.
Meanwhile, make your biscuit dumplings to go on top of the cobbler. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

When the skillet with the peaches gets hot and bubbly in the oven, take it out and add the biscuit dumplings to it and put it back in the over for thirty minutes. Your topping should be golden brown and sweet!

Hope you got some Ice Cream because it’s really good!

Shrimp Ettouffee ala JK

Ah, the joys of New Orleans! I have to admit that I have an affinity for this cuisine as I was raised on the Mississippi River which connects North to South and runs through Memphis. Growing up, I had the best of the city and the country, a bit like in the movie “A River Runs Through It”. Couple that with a good John Grisham novel and there you have it. Court Square in Memphis was a nice relaxing place in the middle of downtown, close to Symphony Hall and right across from Goldsmiths which Is now Macy’s.
Times change, people grow and I have the memories. When I begin to prepare this dish, I think of Willie Mae, our maid, that raised me in Memphis, Beale Street and a nice laid back afternoon.

Continue reading Shrimp Ettouffee ala JK

Beef and Sausage Gumbo

Way down yonder in New Orleans, the gumbo be good! I been making this gumbo for a long time and it good. So good in fact that it don’t take no hot sauce because it be plenty spicy.
There is a difference between Creole and Cajun cooking. The Creole is a combination of French, Spanish and American Indian cuisines and was developed in New Orleans. The Cajun style is from the bayous of Louisiana.
First off, for any good Creole or Cajun dish like this one has to make a good roux. The standard is one to one on the oil and the flour. I use everything from bacon grease, corn oil to butter and even use some of the fat from the roast in this one to give it an extra punch. To make the roux, I use a black cast iron skillet on medium to medium low heat. Heat the oil and for this one I used ¾ cup of oil to ¾ cup flour. The oil was a mix of bacon grease, beef fat and corn oil. Stir the mix frequently or use a whisk for about 30 minutes and don’t try to speed it up. It should be a medium to dark brown for that extra flavor.

Continue reading Beef and Sausage Gumbo

Kentucky Butter Cake

Yes, I am a Southern boy by birth and heritage!  I make this cake usually for the holidays but am seeing how it can top off my mornings on the patio in Houston.  This butter cake is rich and yet with that morning coffee puts a cinnamon roll to shame.

The ingredients are quite traditional and yet create a masterpiece to me.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup real butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

BUTTER SAUCE
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream: 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar for about 5 minutes. When the mixture is smooth enough, blend in eggs one at a time.
Mix the buttermilk and vanilla together and alternately buttermilk and flour mixture into creamed mixture.
Pour the mixture in your bundt pan and bake for 1 hour.
Butter Sauce: In medium sauce pan on medium heat mix sugar, water and butter, bring to low boil , stirring until sugar is dissolved, add vanilla.

When cake is still very hot, leave in bundt pan, poke small holes in top
Drizzle the butter sauce over cake.  Let it soak in and you are in for a treat!
Yum Yum and with a good cup of coffee or espresso, it can be transcendent!

 

Banana Crumb Muffins

Casa Ukitena

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted…

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Alan’s Birthday Chicken Casserole

Alan’s Chicken Casserole is a dish I created for our roomies birthday a few years back.  He really likes chicken, broccoli and rice so why not make something special for him?

Casseroles are a Southern United States staple, especially for church suppers and such.  I took this to a bigger audience with the local meeting of the Presbytery of PCUSA under the banner of Charles Johnson Catering For Your Kneads.  I have worked with Chuck for over eight years and my creativity in the kitchen is growing.  His small company is based out of the kitchens of St. Philip Presbyterian in Houston, Texas.  Feeding the Presbytery was fun, by the way.

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